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Terror case to be assigned another judge

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st September 2015 12:24 PM

The 13 suspects in the 2010 terrorism case will be allocated another judge. This follow the appointment of the trial judge Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to the Court of Appeal.

Terror case to be assigned another judge

Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo.Photo/Maria Wamala

The 13 suspects in the 2010 terrorism case will be allocated another judge. This follow the appointment of the trial judge Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to the Court of Appeal.

By John Semakula

The 13 suspects in the 2010 terrorism case will be allocated another judge. This follow the appointment of the trial judge Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to the Court of Appeal.

76 people were killed at Kyadondo Rugby Club and at Ethiopian Restaurant in Kabalagala in 2010.

Judiciary communication officer, Solomon Muyita told the New Vision that the Principla Judge Yorokamu Bamwine will within two weeks appoint a new judge to take up the case.

Muyita added that the new judge will be briefed by Justice Owiny-Dollo about the extent to which the case had reached before taking it on.

But legal minds are raising a red flag on the change of judges arguing that in the case of that magnitude such changes can breed injustice on either side.

Human rights lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi told the New Vision that since the case is the first of its nature to be heard by a Ugandan court considering the number of people who were killed; it would only be wise that the first trial judge is left to conclude it.

“Justice Owiny-Dollo has heard the case and also seen the witness. He should be left to finish it despite the promotion,” he said. 

Rwakafuzi added that government can also make it possible for Justice Owiny-Dollo to hear the case and conclude it in a very short period of time by providing all the necessary resources to expedite the process.

“If the resources are available, the Judge can hear the case within two or three months instead of six such that he can take on his new roles thereafter,” he said.

Defense lawyer Caleb Alaka also told New Vision that any delay to hear and conclude the case as a result of the promotion of Justice Owiny-Dollo will hurt and affect the suspects but also the victims’ relatives and the country at large.

Alaka said that since 2010, the public has been eagerly waiting to know the truth about the twin terrorism attacks and that the earlier the judgment is delivered, the better.

He also noted that after throwing out some confessions and accepting others, Justice Owiny-Dollo is the only Judge who can handle and finish the case well.

Alaka noted that if Justice Owiny-Dolla abandons the case, it will be better to hear it afresh by the new judge something he said will not only be expensive but also inconveniencing.   

Like the other legal minds, the spokesperson of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Jane Kajuga they would prefer that the Judge (Justice Owiny-Dollo) who started hearing the case continues with it to its logical conclusion.

Kajuga noted that Judges rely on the demeanor of the suspects when writing their rulings which the new judge to be appointed for the case will have missed.

She said that the DDP’s team will return to Court to prosecute the case next week on Sept 22. “We are ready to proceed with the case to its logical conclusion,” she said. “So we are returning to court to see what happens whether it’s a new Judge or Justice Owiny-Dollo,” she said.

Earlier, Justice Erias Kisawuzi told the Press that Justice Owiny-Dollo may be left to continue with the case but that if the suspects appeal against his ruling in the High Court, he will not sit on the panel to hear the appeal.

Muyita revealed that if the new Judge is appointed, he will not have to recall the prosecution witnesses who had already appeared before Court. He said that besides being briefed on the case, the Judge will go through the evidence on file and electronically.

If the case takes off on Tuesday as the programme stipulates, the DPP’s office will be expected to produce witnesses from foreign countries, like Kenya and Tanzania.

A total of 33 persecution witnesses have so far appeared before court in the case. The suspects include Isa Ahamed Luyima, Hassan Haruna  Luyima and Musar, Seleman Hijar Nyamandondo, Mohammad Hamid Sulaiman, Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia and Idris Magondu.

The case against the 13 suspected terrorists is of great public interest considering the number of people who were murdered and survivors whose lives were completely shattered.

Many people who survived the attack were maimed by bomb fragments. The suspects have been on remand for over four years.

By John Semakula
The 13 suspects in the 2010 terrorism case in which 76 people were killed at Kyadondo Rugby Club and at Ethiopian Restaurant in Kabalagala may have to wait a little longer to know their fate.

After the appointment of Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo who was hearing the case to the Court of Appeal, the Judiciary says the Principle Judge, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine will have to appoint another Judge to continue with the case.

Judiciary communication officer, Solomon Muyita told Saturday Vision that Justice Bamwine who has been out of the country on official duties will within two weeks appoint a new Judge to continue hearing the case.

Muyita added that the new Judge will be briefed by Justice Owiny-Dollo about the extent to which the case had reached before taking it on.

Saturday Vision has also learnt that the power to decide when to reschedule the case for further hearing after the appointment of the new judge will entirely be upon him.

But legal minds are raising a red flag on the change of judges arguing that in the case of that magnitude such changes can breed injustice on either side.

Human rights lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi told Saturday Vision that since the case is the first of its nature to be heard by a Ugandan court considering the number of people who were killed; it would only be wise that the first trial judge is left to conclude it.

“Justice Owiny-Dollo has heard the case and also seen the witness. He should be left to finish it despite the promotion,” he said.

Rwakafuzi added that government can also make it possible for Justice Owiny-Dollo to hear the case and conclude it in a very short period of time by providing all the necessary resources to expedite the process.

“If the resources are available, the Judge can hear the case within two or three months instead of six such that he can take on his new roles thereafter,” he said.

Defense lawyer Caleb Alaka also told New Vision that any delay to hear and conclude the case as a result of the promotion of Justice Owiny-Dollo will hurt and affect the suspects but also the victims’ relatives and the country at large.

Alaka said that since 2010, the public has been eagerly waiting to know the truth about the twin terrorism attacks and that the earlier the judgment is delivered, the better.

He also noted that after throwing out some confessions and accepting others, Justice Owiny-Dollo is the only Judge who can handle and finish the case well.

Alaka noted that if Justice Owiny-Dolla abandons the case, it will be better to hear it afresh by the new judge something he said will not only be expensive but also inconveniencing.  

Like the other legal minds, the spokesperson of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Jane Kajuga they would prefer that the Judge (Justice Owiny-Dollo) who started hearing the case continues with it to its logical conclusion.

Kajuga noted that Judges rely on the demeanor of the suspects when writing their rulings which the new judge to be appointed for the case will have missed.

She said that the DDP’s team will return to Court to prosecute the case next week on Sept 22. “We are ready to proceed with the case to its logical conclusion,” she said. “So we are returning to court to see what happens whether it’s a new Judge or Justice Owiny-Dollo,” she said.

Earlier, Justice Erias Kisawuzi told the Press that Justice Owiny-Dollo may be left to continue with the case but that if the suspects appeal against his ruling in the High Court, he will not sit on the panel to hear the appeal.

Muyita revealed that if the new Judge is appointed, he will not have to recall the prosecution witnesses who had already appeared before Court. He said that besides being briefed on the case, the Judge will go through the evidence on file and electronically.

If the case takes off on Tuesday as the programme stipulates, the DPP’s office will be expected to produce witnesses from foreign countries, like Kenya and Tanzania.

A total of 33 persecution witnesses have so far appeared before court in the case. The suspects include Isa Ahamed Luyima, Hassan Haruna  Luyima and Musar, Seleman Hijar Nyamandondo, Mohammad Hamid Sulaiman, Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia and Idris Magondu.

The case against the 13 suspected terrorists is of great public interest considering the number of people who were murdered and survivors whose lives were completely shattered. Many people who survived the attack were maimed by bomb fragments. The suspects have been on remand for over four years.

Related to the story

Constitutional Court rules on terror suspects’ trial

July 2010 bomb suspects to face trial


Terror suspects trial on hold

Arrested terror suspect linked to Kagezi murder

2010 terror case: DDP, Defense lawyers prefers Justice Owiny-Dollo

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